Wednesday, 13 July 2016


A mixed picture for our Re-trapping Adults for Survival (RAS) project this year. It started well with 28 Pied flycatcher nests with eggs however 3 of these nests failed to hatch any eggs. Of the remaining 25 nests, only 21 fledged any young. The failed broods may have been caused by some wet weather at a critical time. The total of young birds fledging was 105, slightly down on last year's total of 120.

The main emphasise of the RAS is to re-trap as many adult birds as we can and this year we had 29 re-traps, i.e. birds originally ringed on the site and 10 new adults were ringed. In addition, we had a control male which had been ringed in 2015 by Gwyn Roberts at his site 6 km east of Cwm Clydach.

Our star bird this year was a female which had been ringed in the nest in 2010 and which has been re-trapped every year since. Although this is not a record age, it is still a good age for a bird that migrates south of the Sahara each autumn.

This project is only possible with the help of a band of stalwart nest box checkers and ringers who start checking boxes in late April and do so weekly until the last chicks have fledged. Gower Ringing Group is grateful to them all.

Heather Coats

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